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To ask for honest opinions on breast vs formula feeding?(390 Posts)
I am due my second baby in 3 weeks, I attempted to breastfeed my first but only lasted 2 weeks due to a mixture of things such as lack of support, stress, baby having tongue tie and really just not knowing what I was doing.
I am really torn on wether to try again this time, ds is only 19 months and I'm afraid he's going to get extremely jealous of the baby being attached to me 24/7 and it might ruin my bond with him. At the same time though I feel like if I don't atleast try I'll regret it as we don't plan on having any more children and I know it's the best thing for the baby.
So I'd like some opinions from other mothers who either breast fed or bottle fed. Why did you choose to feed your baby the way you did and if you could go back would you have done it differently? Have you got any advice that might help me and do you think that breast feeding is worth it?
It doesn’t matter. Whatever work for you, works. Your baby will develop perfectly normal either way.
First time round, I forced myself to do it. It made me miserable and I felt so guilty giving up when I eventually did.
Second time round I decided I'd definitely start breastfeeding but that as soon as I didn't want to anymore, I'd stop and not allow myself to feel any guilt.
I exclusively fed him for about a month, then mixed fed till 3 months and then formula fed. Didn't feel an ounce of guilt or worry.
If I was having another I'd do the same again, Might end up breastfeeding for longer but was never going to out myself in the situation where it made me feel crap and miserable.
I predict this will get quite heated so be prepared OP.
Do what you're comfortable with. I had similar circumstances to you. BF DD1 for two weeks due to the reasons you stated with a bad dose of mastitis thrown in for good measure. It was a source of regret.
DD2 arrived just 14 months later but I really wanted to BF the second time round. It was a slog in the early months but I was so glad I did. To avoid jealously I pumped too so other people could feed the baby and I had 1:1 with the eldest. Again this is extra work so whether it's worth it depends on how important BF is to you. For me it was. There were many days spent sitting on the floor attempting to play with DD1 with a baby attached to one boob and a pump on the other!
If I were you I'd try it. If it doesn't work out at least you'll have tried and the baby will have the benefits of colostrum. Good luck!
Give it a go and see how you get on. I think a lot of people find the older child is curious at first, then get bored watching. It might help if you reinforce 'its what babies do' and 'he's too little to eat big boys food, he can only drink milk. Imagine how boring that would be at your age' to counter jealousy as they often prefer to be the older one.
Absolutely no mam shaming here, ultimately breast is best. I found it damn hard to start with however I was supported by maternity nurses and friends who breast fed which made all the difference. There is a lot of breast cancer in my family so my consultant advised me to breast feed as long as I could. After I got the hang of it ( which didn't come naturally to me) breast feeding was like an amazing super power, whenever baby was upset, tired, hungry, over stimulated, I had magic remedy on tap. Woman should absolutely be supported but never forced or shamed to breast feed. Best of luck with whatever you choose.
I chose to breastfeed my four as it was the best choice for me and my babies. I never even considered formula tbh as I just really wanted to breastfeed. I had a few issues, dc1 was prem and so took a while to get the hang of it, my younger two both had tongue ties which had to be snipped but after a tough few weeks it became really easy and they were all fed to between 2y and 4y old.
If you don’t want to breastfeed, that’s absolutely fine but it’s always worth a try as even one feed is so beneficial for your baby.
Whatever works for you is what's right OP.
If you want to try BF but are worried about your bond with existing DS you could try combination feeding (BF and FF) or a combination of breast and expressed feeding. Just suggestions though. Don't let anyone (including yourself) make you feel guilty for whatever you choose and works for you.
I’m a combi feeder so there is a third option which is a bit of both. I express breastmilk into bottles. I pump 4 times a day for 20 mins using a hands free bra. This provides 50 percent of my baby’s intake (more in the early days) and the rest is formula.
Opinion- it doesn't matter, we don't see formula babies walking around with 2 heads. We don't see breastfed babies with model figures and high IQ's.
It really matters not.
Whatever works for you best
I bf at first had to top up as produced little milk and he was screaming and screaming as he was so hungry so combined for about 5 months ds was more settled with ff (very greedy baby)
Waits for the all women can produce enough milk brigade - it’s not true as not all of us could give birth naturally either (or conceive naturally) our bodies do not always work as they are designed to that’s just the way it is
Do what you feel is best I think you will know when the time is right
I think breastfeeding is easier the second time round because you know what to expect. I do think breast is best - in the same way that eating a balanced diet and exercising plenty and drinking loads of water is best. Your baby will be fine regardless, but I would always advise to give it a go. Best of luck
Breast is best but formula is fine.
I mix fed one of mine, as my health wasn't great. His health is better than if I had insisted on ebf.
I'm still breastfeeding DS and he's a year and a half. I found it easy and convenient after a horrible initial 48 hours in hospital where he didn't really know how to latch - he was 5lb 8oz and used to bash his head into my chest like a woodpecker! I did mixed feed from 10 weeks, so I could leave the house on my own if needed. DS had 1 bottle of formula a day and I really recommend it.
That said, it took hours and hours of sitting as he got older, started teething etc. Feeding the last time at night took about 45 minutes. I couldn't exclusively breastfeed while looking after a toddler.
Honestly do what's best for you and don't worry about other people. FWIW I breastfed my first for over 4 months then had twins, tried to express while both and then one was in NICU and made myself quite ill with it. Both times when I stopped I felt so guilty but I think hormones do that to you. At the end of the day fed is best, however you do it so long as they're healthy and happy that's what matters. I do think if I'd continued breastfeeding the twins it would have made my eldest more jealous, that's not to say the same would apply to you x
For me personally, formula is for extreme circumstances only. Breastfeeding was absolutely not easy for the first few months, but quitting was never an option in my mind.
Breastfed my first for 6 weeks before quitting due to multiple times of mastitis, taking antibiotics and UTI. DS1 was healthy as any healthy baby can be. He had very balanced diet and didn't pick food much (in the earlier years...) which helped to build up his immune system.
I've been EBF DS2. He's 12 months now. I'm reluctant to shift to bottle, for the bonding and the inconvenience of letting him use a bottle. It was really hard work in the first 6 weeks. First the latching on was a big learning curve. Then he got really colic probably because of my milk supply was too forceful and fast. And I leaked like crazy (wasn't like that the first round). And it took hours and hours to have a baby attached to me while DH couldn't share the hard work much. Several times, DH tried to convince me do the best for me (switching to bottle). I persisted...A bit shamefully, purely because I'm too lazy and was dreading to have to sterilising bottles and to have to go through the pain of packing all those gears and tools just for a simple outing.
It paid off... I'm glad we made it and went so far. I might go another couple of months before introducing cow milk during the day... But with DS1, I really didn't have the choice, as we were all very miserable because of the postnatal health issues. But he turned out just fine.
So really, there's not black and white rules. Do what works for you and your children the best.
Whilst I agree with “fed is best” in principle, I have to say that I find it difficult to understand people who don’t even try to breastfeed unless there’s a medical reason (including mental health). Starting doesn’t mean you have to do it long-term but if it does work out then there are lots of benefits and any downsides can if you wish be overcome by mixed feeding. Personally I found bf much less hassle - I went to mixed feeding when I went back to work and found making up bottles more hassle. But looking back I think the occasional bottle earlier would have been a good idea too as with DC2 in particular as expect I could then have got more sleep!
I'd give it a go op. Will you have support of a DH? If yes then he can invest more time into the eldest, housework etc whilst you establish feeding. Personally my older DC have never been jealous of baby breastfeeding, they know that baby is drinking milk and are happy with that. Ultimately with breastfeeding you put in effort at the beginning but then the benefits start to come, no faffing when baby is crying because they're hungry as they can get milk straight away - great in the night, don't even have to get out of bed. Can be a bit more spontaneous as you're not thinking about needing a bottle if you want to go out for the day etc. Then obviously there are the health benefits.
That said if it doesn't work out then don't beat yourself up about it.
I did both and honestly it doesn’t matter. Both methods have their positives and negatives but you have to make the decision that will work for you (mentally and physically) and your dc.
you should imo try to breast feed but I'm certain that it's nowhere near one of the most important aspects of early motherhood, the main thing is just to get some calories down its neck
As long as your baby is well fed, either is fine.
I tried to breastfeed and it didn’t work out (low supply, hungry babies) so I pumped and did a mix of both and then switched 100% to formula by about four months. If I was doing it again I’d do the same - try to breastfeed and give it a good shot but if it doesn’t work out move on without any guilt.
If it helps, my children are bright, active, healthy and no allergies etc. and definitely only one head.
Do what’s best for you, without worry x
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